i'd hit the wall but didn't know it at the time. all i could think was that my writing completely and utterly sucked. it was all crap, every last word. that's usually what i say about my first drafts, but this was the second draft, the draft that's supposed to be better, less lousy, more brilliant. i was at the point of sending it to novel purgatory.
and then this card came in the mail. yes, an actual card. not an email. not a message or wall post on facebook. a real card with postage.
several weeks ago, at the request of a young man who loves my novel, i'd sent a signed copy of Eldala to a teen girl in the Midwest. i certainly wasn't expecting to hear from her, but she took the time to write a few words of appreciation. i cried when i read it. she'd said just what i needed to hear.
i made a card and wrote back (responding with email just didn't seem right). i thanked her for her encouraging words and said i'd keep her card close for the next time i felt like i wanted to delete every last word. then i asked if she would let me anonymously share what she said. her answer: If there's a possibility that it may encourage others, it would only be right.
so, with her permission, let me share some of what she wrote...
I can really relate to Jessara. You signed my book "Courage for whatever journey you're on." Jessara helped to give me that courage... As I get older and take on more responsibilities of life I become afraid and unsure about whether or not I can handle it. When Jessara accepted her responsibility as Malazia, and eventually became queen, I found a new courage and understood that "...the only one that underestimates my importance is me."
Thank you for sharing Teleria with me. Thank you for the courage.
and once again, thank you for letting me know.
i almost forgot! this isn't the first time this has happened to me. back when i first released my baby Eldala for public scrutiny, someone gave me a less than stellar unsolicited review and i was ready to walk away from writing. the next day, one of my dear friends called to tell me how much the book meant to her, and she listed all the things she'd written down from one chapter or another. i'll always treasure that conversation.
God seems to send those words of encouragement every time i have a "what the heck do i think i'm doing?" meltdown. i now have a "writing encouragement" folder in my email where i keep those gems. so to all of you who have encouraged me over the years, many thanks.